Ask Amy: Red wine spill uncorks teasing

FresnoApril 5, 2014 

Dear Amy: My wife accidentally spilled red wine on a light-colored cloth couch of a friend while we were attending a dinner/wine tasting. I was conducting the wine tasting at the host's request.

The host quickly moved to clean it up, and it was 99% removed, but her significant other remarked that the couch was their "baby."

I paused for the cleanup and continued the wine tasting.

The host's partner continued joking and teasing about the stain and the couch. I do think he went overboard a little, but he always does that, somewhat. I just kind of ignore it — or return the teasing.

The rest of the evening/weekend went well, I thought, but there was some more teasing and jokes that I did not take as mean-spirited.

When we got home, my wife told me she felt humiliated, and I should have come to her defense.

I admit to not being super perceptive to people's feelings, but my wife gave me no indication at the time that she wanted me to help with the cleanup or that she wanted the teasing and jokes to stop.

Can you give us your take?

— Wine Guy

Dear Guy:

If you had taken a more active role in cleaning this stain when the spill happened, you would have been in a better position to react to the teasing, but you also would have risked drawing more attention to this accident.

Your wife seems to be hurting because you read someone else's actions differently than she did and because you cannot read her mind.

You should tell her that in the future when she is bothered by something and feels she needs a hand, all she needs to do is tell you.

Dear Amy: You missed the mark on your answer to the needleworker who altered the work on a gift she had been given by a fellow needleworker and is now "Haunted by my (mis)Deed."

As a needleworker myself, I would be very offended if your needlework/writer "redesigned" my handiwork, then asked if I minded what she had done.

She should have "sucked it up" and worn the piece in its original condition once or twice at functions where she knew the giver would see it, then put it away in her closet.

— Needleworker Judy

Dear Judy:

I think you're right. Thank you!


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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